If you’ve done any research on marketing, then you know it’s not all about convincing people about whether they want a product or a service. Instead, it’s about demonstrating why you’re the person (or people) to deliver it to them. It’s about a strong brand. A brand that can build trust, inspire loyalty, and send your business rocketing to stratospheric heights of fame. Finding that one brand that’s really going become the latest hot thing requires plenty of creativity. But if you want it to be successful at all, there are a few elements your brand simply can’t be missing.
When people think of branding, the first thing they think about is the imagery of the business. It’s not all there is, but there’s no doubt that the visual brand identity needs to be both memorable and communicative all at once. Color psychology is a good start when thinking about the emotional connotations of your logo and website design. But there’s a lot more that goes into it. The significance and simplicity of a logo. The kind of typeface used on the website and printed materials. They all carry some kind of cultural weight with them, so it’s a good idea to research every aspect of the visual brand and make sure it fits the message.
Of course, first, you need to figure out what that message is. If you deal in selling high-end pens, for instance, telling people you sell pens isn’t the best idea. Instead, you want to think about what those pens signify. You need to know the unique value those pens have. Are they well-designed, long-lasting pens that help professionals fit the prestigious image that helps them stay successful? Or are they simple, convenient pens that you can always find when you need them? All businesses need a unique selling proposition and it’s the brand’s job to identify the emotional impact of that proposition and make it the core of the message. Even better than a brand with focus is a brand whose focus gives it good positioning against others in the market. To do that, you need to research the competition and others who share the same market space. While it’s good to collect inspiration from them, you should also be looking for ways to differentiate yourself from them.
Naturally, that message is going to change based on who exactly you’re marketing it to. Market research is going to help you find your target audience, but you need to go further than that. For instance, selling to consumers and selling to businesses is selling to two groups with two very different sets of priorities and levels of comfort. Business owners might not be as happy with a more casual, creative approach to brand voice while it might be intriguing to the average consumer. Creating an ideal customer template can help. Create a conversation where your brand is a person talking to that ideal customer. It’s a thought exercise that can make it a lot easier to determine mood, focus, and tone in brand materials.
The three points above are all about the soul and heart of a brand, now we’re going to get to the body of it. How you use that brand and how you improve its power. Giving it prominence comes first. If you’re on the internet, you want to make it more visible. The methods used by an international SEO consultant can ensure that you get visibility online, for instance. Meanwhile, you want to look at taking more opportunities to get press coverage for events, achievements, and reports on what your business has been doing most recently to build that visibility in the real world. Visibility and familiarity are crucial to creating brand background noise that makes it all the easier for people to recognize and remember. Finding the prominence that helps you best is all about thinking about where your target marketing is most likely to be looking. Are they the kind of market that reads influencer blogs or keep up-to-date through Youtubers? Are they the kind of people who join specific social media platforms, like how business owners can usually be found on LinkedIn? Search engines and broad social media channels are good options for just about any business, but if you can find those specific opportunities for prominence in your industry, you can make sure you’re targeting your customers directly.
Visibility is all well and good, but a brand needs some weight behind it, not just size. People need to know that you’re a business they can trust. We’ll talk about how you can use word-of-mouth to that purpose, but you should be doing all you can to validate the business in the eyes of the public as well. Publishing content on your site and on guest sites doesn’t just help with SEO efforts, but gives you a chance to strut your stuff and show a little insider knowledge to verify that you’re not just playing at the business. Meanwhile, appearing at a trade show has a variety of perks, one of them being that it gives you a very physical presence in the industry alongside the others. It also gives you the opportunity to talk face-to-face with leads that perhaps might not have got a good enough look at the prospects of the business through your offline and online marketing.
Having your knowledge and your physical presence at events to lend reassurance to your claims are important. But even better is letting others do the talking for you. Proof is something that builds with time and experience, so you shouldn’t be trying to put it on display when you don’t have it. However, social proof is going to be a lot more valuable in the end. People better trust the word of other consumers rather than believing all the hype of the marketing team. Foster your community online and get them not only engaged but get them creating content for things like giveaways and contests on social media. Welcome testimonials and, if you offer a service, then use past client stories as case studies for the site, giving a real-world demonstration of just why and how your business works.
Times change and businesses need to change with them. This doesn’t mean that you have to scrap your brand to ride on the latest bandwagon. Consistency is another essential ingredient of a brand that stands the test of time. However, keeping the business relevant and the brand relevant means it takes part in current conversations and keeps finding opportunities to find some of the limelight again. For instance, it’s never a bad time to ask for feedback from customers. A brand might get their wants right, to begin with. But tastes and wants change as the market does. Running off the assumption that your business still provides everything the target market needs while the rest of the industry keeps innovating around you is an easy way to become irrelevant. This includes coming to terms with new methods of distribution and purchase. The tech available is always going to shape the most convenient methods of delivering goods and services to the customer. It started with e-commerce and has since expanded to mobile apps. It’s going to keep changing and keeping in step with that change is going to help you further inform a more modern brand in the times to come.
A good brand has too much to offer a business so don’t go ignoring it. Spend time thinking about the kind of image, the kind of voice, that’s going to lend your business a great customer connection. Then use the right methods to get that image and voice out there.
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